The summer lull (if there is such a thing) has past and the ministry year for most of us is in full swing. We can hear the busy holiday season approaching like a far-off freight train, even as we try to ignore it.
Hopefully, we are seeing fruit in our ministry—children are coming to understand the love of God, even making decisions for Christ, families are being encouraged and helped as we disciple their children. But when things are going well in ministry, we're often tempted to overwork, to let success seduce us into a frantic pace, to ignore the need for rest.
In Mark 6, Jesus sends his disciples to do ministry on their own. After months of following him, learning from him, and asking him questions, they get to do what they have watched their rabbi do. And they have great success. The text says "They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them" (Mark 6: 12,13).
The next few paragraphs describe ...1